Let the journey to Mount Rainier begin!!!

June 29, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

In May of 2015 I did something crazy...I drove across the United States to work as an astronomy interpretive ranger at Mount Rainier National Park =) Along my journey I stopped at multiple National Parks and would like to share the first astrophotograph from my trip!

Milky Way over Badlands National ParkMilky Way over Badlands National ParkObject: Summer Milky Way with green airglow and pink aurora
Optics: Nikon 14-24m
Mount: Tripod
Camera: Nikon D750
F/stop: F/2.8
Exposure: 6 x 30 seconds panorama
ISO: 6400
Mode: RAW
White Balance: Daylight
Filter: None
Conditions: Temp. 50 F
Date: May 19th, 2015
Location: Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Processing: Photoshop CC

This image taken from Badlands National Park has aurora (pink in the lower left), light pollution (orange on the horizon), air glow (green across the entire image), and finally the Milky Way hidden behind air glow. I took this panorama May 18th, 2015 with a Nikon D750 and 14-24mm lens at F2.8 at14mm, ISO 6400, and 25 second exposures. No tracking mount was used.

This image has a lot of firsts in it for me. Until this image, I never captured an aurora, or air glow in such a remarkable manner. Being out in the Badlands at night was an experience I recommend everyone try.The calm air and lack of noise made for an incredibly peaceful night under the stars, I felt as if I had the National Park to myself. The emotions I felt after capturing aurora and air glow were of elation and utter respect for our beautiful universe.

~Matt Dieterich


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